After a few weeks of being more wary of the rain than a typical London commuter (another story), I've finally replaced the remnants of tyre that were covering my rear wheels.
Normally with my other cars this involves choosing a premium brand, having them fitted and driving away all happy and stuck to the road.
This time however I'm performing a little experiment by going with a not so premium brand. Don't get me wrong, they're not dodgy remoulds from a bloke in the pub who gets them from someone he knows 'in the trade', but they're not made of pure gold like the top of the range £230 per corner types either.
And seeing as I was feeling all sassy I've gone for a slightly lower profile too, mainly as this hugely increases the range of tyres available. The standard size is 255/40/18 on the rear, but these are 255/35/18.
For those who think that's a very strange date of birth, it's actually:
Tyre width in mm / side wall height (as a % of the width) /wheel diameter in inches.
Hopefully this blog entry will be useful to the many other M3 owners who wander through forums looking for comments about which tyres are good enough to keep you out of the hedge, but still affordable. (Note that I didn't say "cheap". You can't say that word when talking about owning an M3. About ANYTHING.) Also, if these tyres end up killing me, this post will serve as a very handy "don't do that" warning to others :-)
I've gone for Nexen N6000 tyres. I know, they're not well known, and that's mainly the point. I'm fed up of all the conflicting stories from M3 owners about how they found mid range tyres to be as good as the premium or how the mid range ones made their car feel broken.
Another reason for buying them was the cost for two, fitted was £187. Yup, for the pair. So I got a full alignment whilst I was there. Total cost, £214. That's less than the price of a single fancy-dan tyre.
Here's what the internet thinks of my choice:
Picture and more detail from http://www.tyrereviews.co.uk/Tyre/Nexen/N6000.htm
Yes, I know they're not the best, but at a 3rd of the price of super whizzy tyres it's worth the experiment so I can at least know for certain that you do get what you pay for when stumping up the cash.
My reasoning is that I don't care about lifespan, as I only drive the car occasionally and I'm not too fussed about wet handling as I don't use it in the wet or if I do it'll just be coming home when caught out in it. Unless I happen to be on a track day when it rains in which case... whahaaaay!
On the short drive home I must say the car felt a little bit more squirmy than before, but then the last set where almost slicks and these ones have actual tread. See...
Also, you're supposed to let new tyres bed in for a bit until all the release agent (used to get them out of the moulds) has worn off, and to make sure they've settled on the rims nicely. Which reminds me.. I didn't reset the 'something wrong with one of the wheels' sensor thingy.
Oh no.. an excuse to go for a drive tomorrow.
I'll update this blog in a few hundred miles when I'll know if they're a bargain or grim reaper catnip.